Affiliations: [*] Senior Social Safeguard Specialist, Environment Division, RITES Ltd, A Government of India (Ministry of Railways) Enterprise; Email: email@example.com
Abstract: Gender equality is an important indicator of a country’s progress towards sustainable development and is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Yet the government and international financial institutions often find gender equality a difficult concept to include in projects. A probable solution for the same is to conduct social impact assessment (SIA) with a gender focus, which can help ensure that a project design addresses gender concerns and maximizes women’s access to project benefits.Such an impact assessment was conducted in 2014 for metro rail project in Ahmedabad, India. In this article, an attempt has been made to assess the socio-economic condition of women in the project area, examine the potential gender issues, and develop measures to address gender issues in different stages of the project. Baseline sex-disaggregated data and gender analytical information were collected through socio-economic survey, public consultation, and focus group discussion with women in the project area. The SIA results revealed that amongst the affected persons, nearly half were female members. It is expected that in the metro rail project, due to certain adverse impacts, such as relocation, loss of livelihood, and so on, women would experience socio-economic problems. Therefore, provisions, in the resettlement action plan, were made keeping in mind the well-being of affected women along with women of host communities. It argues that identifying and addressing gender issues at an early stage and managing them actively throughout the life of a project can increase the possibility of success of the project.
Keywords: Gender, Social impact assessment, Women-headed household, Project affected family, Displacement, Rehabilitation and resettlement, Urban transport, Metro rail, Consultation, Participation, Non-government organizations, MEGA